July 17, 2010 Subject:
Lots of surprises and fun.
This is a delightful collection of Mel Blanc shows that are very well worth hearing. They don't make comedy like this anymore.
February 18, 2010 Subject:
Clarification and Lament
Er, Galland, he came up with nothing of the sort. Blanc as Porky Pig pre-dated Zookie. By a decade at least. He did, however, derive a few of his Looney Tunes characterisations from some of his earlier radio work: if you listen to "The Judy Canova Show," you'll hear the antecedents of Sylvester and of Speedy Gonzalez (the Pedro the Gardener character became Blanc's choice of voice when Speedy was created in due course).
That said, Blanc deserved far better out of his own radio series. It's worth it to collect if you're a Mel Blanc completist (and who really isn't?), and there are times when the writing justifies the star, but the show's premise---Blanc as a repairman where anything coming into his shop leaves in worse shape than when it arrived, including his hesitant romance with the daughter of a cantankerous supermarket owner---was far better than its execution. Blame the writing. It was too often trite and seems to have dated almost the moment it went over the air, but the good moments (they crop up briefly in just about every installment) are very good, indeed.
Blanc has an impeccable radio legacy, if you've heard his work with Judy Canova (Sylvester and Pedro), Jack Benny (Professor LeBlanc, the sound of the famous broken-down Maxwell car, and especially the famous "Train leaving for Anaheim, Azuza, and Cu-camon-ga!" routines), Burns & Allen (it only began with the Happy Postman), and others. It's a shame that his own series--and he deserved a crack at one---tends to undermine that legacy.
November 26, 2008 Subject:
ignore previous post about problem:
The problem resolved itself - file was DLd OK
May 14, 2008 Subject:
What a treasure!
These episodes are a showcase for Mel Blanc's vocal talents! The plotlines are thin and follow predictable formulas--that doesn't mean they aren't hysterically funny! Typically, Mel is trying to make a date with his girlfriend Betty [Mary Jane Croft, later known as Betty Ramsey on ILove Lucy]: he must get by her father, Mr. Colby, who doesn't let an episode get by without thundering 'Mel Blanc, I'll break every bone in your body!'; a visit from his lodge president [Loyal Order of Zebras],and whatever quirk, or quirky people, the show throws his way that week. Jokes are corny, meant to be, and referred to as such. Extra laughs occasionally crop up with someone blowing a line or ad-libbing. I would give anything to have been in the studio during the show--the audience is frequently in hysterics at some kind of antics going on that the radio audience does NOT hear!
Solutions to seeing Betty and getting back into Mr. Colby's good graces often turn on Mel masquerading as a foreign character, giving him an opportunity for extreme dialect humor [which may not be appreciated by modern sensibilities]: a French designer, a South American lodge brother, a Chinese philosopher, etc. etc. Mel also plays Zookie, Mel's nephew, or possibly cousin [early episodes have Zookie and Mel's uncle living with him. The uncle disappears eventually, but Zookie remains]. Many plot lines turn on Mel and Betty's never-definite marriage plans: securing money or respect or Mr Colby's approval. Of course, all the situations twist about, and Mel comes up golden, arm in arm with Betty, at least until next week.
All in all, a true classic by a brilliant American performer. Very entertaining, literally laugh-out-loud funny at times, this is 'a must-see', er, a 'must-hear'.
September 9, 2007 Subject:
Now I know where Mel Blanc came up with Porky Pig from Zookie and Sad Sack were the fore runners of Porky.